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Online Skill Games Flourish, Skirt Ban
For U.S. companies locked out of the lucrative global industry in
Internet gambling, there is still money to be made — as long as they
don’t call it gambling.
So-called games of skill such Spades, 8-ball and Solitaire are
attracting more players online than ever, thanks partly to the growing
pool of prize money available to winners and the tightening noose of
federal regulation around online games of chance. Although revenue is
small compared to those reaped by pure gambling sites, some in the
industry believe that could change.
"This will continue to be a larger part of the online gambling
market, although since there’s skill involved you can’t really call it
gambling," said Sebastian Sinclair, president of Christiansen Capital
Advisors, a gambling industry consultancy. "These games are better
suited to the medium than casino games, because they’re more
entertaining, and money is secondary."
Secondary to some, perhaps, but for others, the money is everything.
"We refer to this as competitive entertainment," said Stephen J.
Killeen, chief executive of WorldWinner, which runs a game site that
charges tournament players and head-to-head challengers about $1.50 for
every game they play, while awarding winners roughly $3.20. "The idea
behind this is ‘loser buys drinks.’ "
"And because these are games of skill, as opposed to games of chance,
there’s an added dimension of, ‘OK, I have to concentrate on this,’ "
Killeen added. "It’s not, ‘What’s this random roll going to show me?’ "
The generally accepted standard for legal gaming is that it must
involve a contest where skill is the predominant factor in winning or
losing; if a game is too easy or too hard for the participants, skill is
less a factor in the outcome than luck.
entire article at:
Las Vegas Sun
2004 Online Casino News Archive